In the eternal words of Kanye Omari West: “Scoop-diddy-whoop, Whoop-di-scoop-di-poop, Poop-di-scoopty.”
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get to the meat. Objectively speaking, and much to my chagrin, I’m a Gen Z. Pew Research defines Gen Z as anyone born after 1996, and, being born in October of 1999 (the ’90s were the best three months of my life!), I certainly qualify as one.
Let’s define some additional characteristics: Generally speaking, Gen Z is digital-native, meme-informed and progressive.
In the last couple of years, a large group of “Gen Z VCs” have come to the forefront of what one might consider “hip” venture capital investing. Crypto, web3, NFTs and the creator economy are a small subset of investment sectors championed by this wave of investors. In turn, these have become the “hyped industries.” Web3 received $27 billion last year alone.
Gen Z VCs have raised funds, garnered social media followings and profited from the Gen Z mentality.
Gen Z, no matter how you slice it, are still a bunch of kids. Myself included.
Good for them. I don’t want to be any part of it. Further, I firmly believe this Gen Z VC movement is a thinly veiled excuse for clout chasing, manipulating and substituting personality for experience and hype for investment principles.
The evidence is simple: Gen Z isn’t a real investment trend. I don’t think anybody would disagree with me when I say that the line for Gen Z is a bit wavy and largely depends on where and under what circumstances one grew up in. Sure, most of us grew up in an age of technology, but we didn’t all grow up in an age of social media.
There’s a drastic difference in views and experiences between someone born in 1997 and someone born in 2012. I got my first cell phone (no keyboard or touchscreen) when I was 10 just so that I could get picked up safely from soccer practice. My first car was a 2000 Volvo S70 (manual transmission); I used a floppy disc in elementary school; and although I did grow up with a computer, I remember spending hours on Polar Bowler and Full Tilt! Pinball. Clippy was my constant companion in Microsoft Word.
Most importantly, though, I got my first social media account on the day I turned 13.